I'm A Girl Who Codes





A Day in the Life of a Teacher Who Codes: Week 4


Hello again! I’m Kristi, a teacher for Girls Who Code at Pixar, and I’m back for week 4 of the  with a sneak peek of what goes on behind the scenes. Here’s the debrief.


This week we started building websites; we began with and had the girls build their own websites, showcasing what they’ve done so far at GWC. I also did a lesson on  and had them add it to their website so they could customize the design. At the end of the day, we played a variation of the freeze tag game.



Since the girls learned HTML and CSS on Monday, we focused on  on Tuesday. I went over the syntax and how to use it when an HTML element is clicked. After lunch, I had the girls spend the rest of the afternoon adding whatever JavaScript they wanted to use on their websites while I went around answering questions. At the end of the day, everyone presented their websites in small groups and give/receive constructive feedback. Since final projects are coming up soon, it’s important for everyone to get used to presenting and receiving feedback.


I went over how to use and guided the class through how to add it to an HTML file. I had them break up into groups to create websites using Bootstrap that raise awareness about an issue of their choice. Once the students finished their projects, I had them present in front of the class. From Black Lives Matter to LGBTQ+ discrimination to Global Warming, the topics involved critical issues and I was so proud of the thoughtfulness and creativity involved.

In the afternoon, some Pixar employees gave a talk about toy design. While most of the design process doesn’t involve coding, it was definitely surprising to find out that there are coding parts to it.


The class got to do all-day animation workshops with Michael Frederickson, one of Pixar’s animation technical directors! The students got to animate Toy Story characters and create different scenes for them. After lunch, the students learned about the Python module Michael and his team set up for the students to animate characters. Each group created a ten second movie and shared it with the class. There were some hilarious movies. As always, it was so much fun seeing what the girls came up with!


We finished the week learning about API’s and using the Google Maps API. I went over why API’s are useful and how to add a map to a website. I gave them the assignment to create a map of their favorite places and they worked on that for the rest of the day. Before lunch, , the writer of Finding Nemo (!!!), came to visit us! He answered some questions the class had and then took a picture with us. After lunch, while the class was working on their projects, they finally pulled another prank on me. I saw it coming because it had been so long, but they were able to outsmart me just when I thought I was catching onto them!

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